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About the Author

Author Info

Asha Carolyn Young is an author, painter, teacher and publisher who grew up in Thailand and has spent her adult years in California. She has compiled and written three books on art, all self published under Flowering Light Books and printed by BookBaby. Her books contain quality reproductions of artwork and accompanying narratives. 

CARRY YOUR OWN JOY: The Abstract Paintings and Life of Hari E. Thomas, a San Francisco Artist (2015), is a biography of Young's close friend based on her memories of him and interviews with his son and inner circle friends. Thomas, a professional counselor, was a "universal man" and greatly beloved by many for his humor, wisdom and caring. The book shows 108 of Thomas' dynamic, mixed-media, abstract paintings. 

JOURNEY TO THE TRACKS: Industrial Landscape Paintings and Sketches of Oakland, California (2017), tells of Young's move from her house in the charred and burnt Oakland Hills after the 1991 Firestorm to a rugged work-live studio above Oakland's western train tracks and industrial belt. Through narrative and images, she brings to life and shares the beauty of this urban terrain.  

OLD PAINTED DOORS AND GATES (2018) shows colorful, textural quality photos of Young's collection of painted doors and gates. In the book, she also tells how she started painting on old wood textures after arriving in San Francisco due to lack of funds for canvas or paper. Delighting in found wood objects -- especially doors and gates -- as painting surfaces, she carefully applied oil paint to bring out wood textures. For her, the poetry had just begun. 


Asha Carolyn Young was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to American parents. For her seventh birthday, her father gave her an oil painting kit and cautioned, “Just don’t eat anything.” Her first focused art study as a teenager was with a Chinese brush painting master when her family resided in Vientiane, Laos.

She spent fourteen years living in the East Bay and four years in San Francisco, during which time she served as staff and grant writer for grassroots, Southeast Asian refugee agencies; taught English as a second language; ran a business as a freelance English teacher, writer, and editor; and sold books for Cody’s Books in Berkeley.

In 2011, she became caretaker of paintings created by her close friend, the late Hari E. Thomas. In 2015, she wrote, compiled and self-published, Carry Your Own Joy: The Abstract Paintings and Life of Hari E. Thomas, A San Francisco Artist.

She holds degrees in History (B.A., University of California, Los Angeles) and Cultural Anthropology (M.A., University of California, Berkeley). She studied art at Laney College in Oakland, and she undertook five years of private group study with Japanese brush painting master, Kayoko Bird, in Berkeley. She has been recipient of the Robert Lowie Fund Grant (UCB), Graduate Humanities Research Grant (UCB), President’s Undergraduate Fellowship for Research (UCLA), and the Justin Turner Award for History (UCLA).

Young lives with her husband and pet family in Northern California.